Alex Mathers is an illustrator and graphic designer from London currently living Tokyo. In addition, he runs a site for freelancers called Red Lemon Club and a contemporary visual arts blog called Ape on the Moon. Alex creates wonderfully engaging geographic illustrations peppered with details demanding a closer look. Read on to learn why Alex loves the Smooth tool!
Hey Alex, thanks for chatting with Vectips! To start, could you tell us a little about yourself?
It’s a pleasure to be on your site. I’ve gained a lot of inspiration from it over the years. I’m a self taught illustrator, dabbling in writing, currently living in Tokyo, from London. I run a couple of websites, namely Ape on the Moon, which concentrates on visual art and artists, as well as Red Lemon Club, which provides various tips on business and productivity for creative professionals.
The vector work I create is greatly inspired by the geography course I did at university and it’s what is currently paying the bills.
If you could magically turn into a Illustrator tool, what tool would it be and why?
Great question! I’d be the pen tool, because I like to keep creating, being flexible and going one step at a time.
What’s your favorite Illustrator technique?
I think that has to be simply using the smooth tool. I use it a lot, and it helps give my landscapes a distinctive smoothed wavey effect. I’d have given up digital illustration a long time ago if the smooth tool didn’t exist!
Do you use any non-digital tools in your work?
I do sketch everything out before I work in illustrator, but that’s still sort of digital. I guess the process of sketching on my Wacom tablet is almost non-digital. There’s also the sketching of ideas down in sketchbooks, but nothing non-digital that would affect the outcome of the final product. The illustration work is done entirely in vector.
What are your favorite sources of inspiration?
For me it’s travel, seeing the work of other great artists, animation, films and electronic music.
Thanks again for the interview! Any parting words of wisdom?
Sure thing! If you are just starting out in illustration and you know you love to do it, make sure you do a ton of work before you consider yourself a professional, and don’t quit!